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Auditing Your Marketing Campaigns & Using Content For Sales

When it comes to content, far too many businesses are making content for the sake of making content. No strategy. No real purpose. Except to put out content.

Sound familiar? In this episode of the Gettin' Buzz'd podcast, John-Erik Pszenny of HubSpot talked about how you can audit your marketing campaigns and create content for sales.

 
[00:00:10.120] - Dustin Brackett

Hey, everybody, welcome back to another episode of Gettin' Buzz'd. I'm Dustin Brackett, CEO and Founder of HIVE Digital Strategy. With me, as always, is Michael Thebeau. He's our business development manager and resident finger gun specialist. And today we've got a special guest, John Pszenny with HubSpot is here. We're going to be talking about auditing your marketing and how that kind of translates into content for your sales team and through your sales process. Right. But before we get into that, we're on team day drinking. Yeah, I mean, COVID's getting a little even more intense in Colorado. They just came out with the mandatory masks today. So you know what? I feel like drinking is acceptable. So 

 

[00:00:57.910] - Michael Thebeau

I think alcohol kills it. 

 

[00:00:59.470] - Dustin Brackett

Yeah, I think that's we're just being safe is doing our part, you know. So this is not so we're drinking Sam Adams, Boston Lager. It's obviously not local to us in Colorado, but John is over there in the harbor. With all the wicked people and Harvard yard and the lobster.

 

[00:01:23.030] - John-Erik Pszenny

I wore, I wore the Cape Cod Chatham shirt just to make it really, really legit. 

 

[00:01:27.530] - Michael Thebeau

To let us know you're a legit Bostonian. 

 

[00:01:30.690] - John-Erik Pszenny

Oh yeah. We've had, so Massachusetts has had the the mandatory masks for months now. So I've just been drinking this whole time.

 

[00:01:38.870] - Dustin Brackett

You know, it, it works, but you've got to do what you got to do during COVID. 

 

[00:01:43.660] - John-Erik Pszenny

I think you got to get past the wave somehow. Cheers guys. Thank you for having me on.

 

[00:01:54.600] - Dustin Brackett

So, like I mentioned. Today, we're talking about kind of auditing your marketing, your content, and then how to kind of start to use some of that content to fuel your sales process. Right. So what does kind of auditing your content really look like or your marketing look like?

 

[00:02:15.390] - John-Erik Pszenny

It's a great question to give an intro to myself a little bit. My name is John Pszenny. I work at HubSpot. I've been at HubSpot for about five years now, working and consulting with our top solutions agency partners, which has been an amazing experience and getting to see lots, lots of internally how businesses work and how they're not only approaching this subject, but just seeing how folks are managing, working through covid and stuff. And it's been inspiring to see how companies are really managing to get through it. So hats off to everyone watching this.

 

[00:02:55.940] - Dustin Brackett

You left your hat on.

 

[00:02:56.940] - John-Erik Pszenny

All right. This is how it's going to go. All right. So audit your marketing is definitely something that if you're not doing it regularly as a company, you really should be. It's something that you're only going to grow through, not only making sure your marketing is going in the right direction, but also that your sales team is supported with the best content when they get into conversations with folks. We live in a hey sales reps need to be able to create a digital relationship nowadays, which is super hard from when we evolved from like the handshake in person making sales agreements and conversations.Like now it's all digital. So sales reps really need to be prepped with the best, best assets and stuff to really help them sell their product/service to their clients.

 

[00:03:53.310] - Dustin Brackett

Yeah, and I think that, like you mentioned, I think that relationship is so much harder to build now. Like, I think you probably even have to provide even more value than you did previously. Right? Because they don't they don't really know you. They don't necessarily trust you yet. You're not able to build that one to one connection like you could even like six months ago, right?

 

[00:04:16.440] - John-Erik Pszenny

Yeah, one hundred percent. And I think what's important with when it comes to to auditing marketing, it should be something that you're regularly doing, but also that your auditing it with the intelligence you're getting from your sales team, because they're the ones who are communicating with your customers the closest and the most often. So when you get that feedback loop between marketing and sales, when taking kind of a magnifying glass to the content your marketing team is creating, you really want to make sure that those teams are sort of communicating with each other so that when you are reviewing, hey, did these ebooks or this blog or these assets that we've put out there, like how are they operating? And is the voice that we're emulating in these pieces of content and these assets, is it really capturing the essence of what our customers are really looking for as far as the pain points they have and positioning us as a thought leader? And how can this content be used by our sales team in that sort of digital relationship building conversation with our customers? 

 

[00:05:26.430] - John-Erik Pszenny

As far as like an approach to how you would start that? I would say kind of a constant sort of quarterly review of like what your marketing like, how the different assets you have positioned either on your website or the things that you're allowing folks to download, seeing how those things are operating. As far as how many downloads you're getting, are people spending a lot of time looking at that content? Do we have content that is viewed a lot or downloaded a lot by leads or potential customers that we can repurpose into a smaller form and give it to sales so that they can have an easy piece of content that they can hand off to a prospect in a sales conversation to help them really sell their services or product in that conversation with the with the customer.

 

[00:06:25.260] - Dustin Brackett

Yeah. And I think it's kind of interesting, like we had touched on this on a previous podcast. But, you know, sales and marketing have always kind of lived in their own silos. Right? Like there wasn't a whole lot of like co-working or like really any initiatives that we're focused on the same prospect, right, the same person. Marketing had to create content and a lot of times I think it was just creating content for the sake of creating content, like there wasn't really a rhyme or reason behind it. Even if they knew who we wanted to sell to, they didn't really know all those things that the sales team uncovers all the time, right? Those frequently asked questions that they're getting, those pain points that are really the selling points for you. And I think that it is interesting to take that kind of perspective and to understand, OK, hey here are the new companies that we've closed, that our sales teams closed, OK, where did they come from? What content, where they consuming before? What questions did they have? How are we answering those things? It's super powerful.

 

[00:07:30.920] - John-Erik Pszenny

Yeah, it's actually super interesting to they. So Forrester, a couple of companies actually recently, came out with a couple studies to top of mind. Forrester and this company called Media Connection actually found. So just on the topic of content and marketing, being able to to audit it, to see how well it's working and be able to repurpose it for sales in some particular way. These two companies ran an interesting study where Forrester actually found that overall. 82% of buyers viewed at least five pieces of content from the winning vendor during the decision stage of the purchasing process.

 

[00:08:12.850] - John-Erik Pszenny

So that's after they went through your entire marketing nurturing. This is at the decision stage. And then Media Connection actually came out with another interesting tidbit of data that was 68% of consumers feel more positive about a brand when consuming content from it during the sales process. 

 

[00:08:33.870] - Dustin Brackett

Yes, it establishes that authority. Right? You don't want to work with a business that you're not sure actually knows what they're talking about. Or isn't actually being helpful. But I think one of the things like the misconceptions is that content is always felt like a marketing function, right? It's always been we need to pump out all this content because we need to get people to our website. Right? We need to get them to fill out a form. But I think there needs to be more emphasis placed on the sales process with content, right? 

 

[00:09:10.020] - John-Erik Pszenny

Yeah. One hundred percent there. There's a couple different reasons why sales should be using content. I know we're talking a little bit more about auditing, but like the why they should be applying content in in the sales process is for a couple of reasons. One, it helps them stay agile and productive. Two, it helps them, as you just mentioned, positions them as thought leaders. Sales is one of the least trusted positions or professions of all the jobs that you can have, I think it's like the fourth least trusted. So having the ability to position yourself as a thought leader is super, super important. And then back to sort of the point on, like, you need to be able to create a relationship digitally. And just being able to email people is sometimes not enough because most of the time people delete their inboxes so quickly that if you're not being memorable and you're not creating sort of this connection with your prospect in some way, that sets you apart from all the others that are trying to sell their product or service, you're going to probably lose out on that deal.

 

[00:10:26.620] - John-Erik Pszenny

So staying top of mind. And then finally, the ability to help you sell internally. So content is going to help you be able to better communicate with not only person you're speaking to, but any internal people they need to connect with to be able to sell your product or service. You've had that, you maybe you've built a relationship with that person you've met internally at the company. But what if that person is just an influencer and they're not the one who sort of holds the wallet? How can you stand apart from other people and be able to communicate your thought leadership and all those points? We just mentioned to the person who's the actual decision maker, if they haven't been a part of that relationship building on those phone calls and stuff, how can you have, like, an easy way to sell yourself to those people and help promote that influencer internally to help you achieve your goal and make them look awesome?

 

[00:11:27.250] - Dustin Brackett

Well, and I think the process of most salespeople aren't your creatives, right? They're not they're not creating that content. And I think that's where the biggest disconnect has been. Right? it's just a different personality that runs a marketing team or creates your content and the people that sell. And so I think that that's always been the disconnect that essentially that sales is asking for that content from marketing. And it it's almost like this tug of war, right? Where if we can get those teams to really mesh and realize that they're on the same team and fighting for the same goal, then having that marketing team create a robust piece of content, they can convert leads, but then also whittle that down to something that Michael can say, hey, I know you're having this issue. Here's a quick one sheeter. Here's this quick checklist or whatever that piece of content is that I think can actually help solve some of your problem or help you identify what the problem is.

 

[00:12:36.690] - Dustin Brackett

That's super powerful stuff. And then you as a sales person are really immediately providing value, like you haven't charged them a dime. You haven't sent them a quote. You haven't said, hey, sign on this line, but you've helped. And I think that is a big deal.

 

[00:12:56.050] - John-Erik Pszenny

Super interesting on that point too, really interesting data point was, so Google last year just did a study on basically like that exact sort of measure. Like, hey, Michael, being able to hand out a piece of content, like help them be able to sell internally and kind of have an easy thing to consume. They found that 81% of non C Suite employees influence purchasing decisions at the end of the day and over half of that. 81% are millennials. What do millennials like to consume?Content. And so like a lot of that time, the person who ends up having a lot of influence in that purchasing decision and getting the decision maker to actually open the wallet and move forward with that transaction is someone who is not a C Suite executive and someone who is likely younger and grew up in a generation of consuming content and being able to have something that's quick and efficient to hand off to someone. Which is super interesting, too.

 

[00:14:01.000] - Dustin Brackett

Yeah, that is. It's also interesting that you just know all of the statistics.

 

[00:14:05.800] - John-Erik Pszenny

I've been doing this way too long. So like a lot of the a lot of the statistics just land up in the old brain and I can't get it out. You ask me about everyday things, though, and my memory is gone. So it's all tied up with this stuff.

 

[00:14:19.570] - Dustin Brackett

I feel like we can just throw out a percentage and you're like, yeah, I have four different statistics on that percentage.

 

[00:14:27.480] - Michael Thebeau

When it comes to like the actual auditing of your previous marketing and content. Who do you guys recommend does that? Is it the marketing team? The marketing director? Is it the sales team? Do we somehow figure out how to work both of them into it to get on the same page?

 

[00:14:44.980] - John-Erik Pszenny

Yeah, Dustin what do you feel like you've seen in the past on that?

 

[00:14:49.560] - Dustin Brackett

I think most businesses leave that to their marketing team, and I think it's a I think it's actually a mistake. Like we talked about, I think we have to get away from these silos. And if our marketing team is just creating content for the sake of creating content, then what's interesting to them or what they think is useful is what they're going to produce. And they're not actually getting that feedback from the customer. And so to me, the way that you get that feedback from the customer isn't through marketing. Like, you don't you don't get marketing feedback. You get sales feedback. 

 

[00:15:31.530] - John-Erik Pszenny

To like one up you on that. Kind of interesting. So one of the ways HubSpot actually handles that is we actually have a Slack channel that is between our marketing and sales departments and what the whole channel itself is dedicated to marketing posting content that's been working really well and asking for sales' feedback on it. Number one before they actually post it. But number two, in situations where they think it's something that's been converted highly or that has high traffic and it's about a specific maybe it's about a specific product or something that we're trying to launch or sell more of. They actually will ask sales for feedback so that they can create a condensed version for sales. So they're just kind of utilizing the tools available to us and just using a Slack channel, especially in this time of covid, where we can't kind of internally meet all the time in person. It's been a really nice way to create that feedback loop, to be able to say like, hey, here's some content that's been working really well, just based on kind of metrics, what your guys feedback on it? And would it be helpful if we condensed this? What's your feedback on creating a condensed version of this? Because it's been working pretty well. 

 

[00:16:44.770] - Dustin Brackett

That's interesting to me. And I think that, like, we kind of come from two different worlds, right? Like we're in the agency world. And our feedback from sales to marketing is a very small number of people. With HubSpot, like you're looking at hundreds of employees, maybe thousands. I don't know how many employees HubSpot actually has, but... 

 

[00:17:09.040] - John-Erik Pszenny

Three. It's just three. We make it look big, but it's just it's just three people.

 

[00:17:15.000] - Dustin Brackett

It's Brian, Dharmesh, and Romeo?

 

[00:17:19.170] - John-Erik Pszenny

I'm just, I'm outsourced. 

 

[00:17:23.490] - Dustin Brackett

But I mean, that's interesting to me. Like, what is what does that look like? Because, I mean, there are a lot of businesses fall into that that trap of like too many cooks in the kitchen. Right? Like where you get so many different opinions that nothing actually gets done. And with us, Michael providing feedback to Zach or whoever created a piece of content, that's an easy process.What does that look like when you post it to a Slack channel that's got hundreds of people in it?

 

[00:17:53.850] - John-Erik Pszenny

Yeah, that's that's a fantastic question. I do think there needs to be. You're absolutely right like there being kind of different worlds in that facet of like you have a larger company like that, you're probably going to have a lot of voices. I think there does need to be sort of a de facto kind of decision maker, whether that's like a Director of Marketing and Director of Sales kind of being that last sort of bastion of of approval or voice on it.

 

[00:18:21.630] - John-Erik Pszenny

I think that is important to kind of establish that main point of point of contact and kind of decision maker on it, especially in that environment with a lot of people. For smaller companies. I think that you have a true nugget of value there because it's smaller and you don't have as many voices. You have a lot more of a personal touch and a connection that your team can make with each other and find kind of a a good cadence to build with each other. 

 

[00:18:58.020] - John-Erik Pszenny

They both have their pluses and minuses. With a smaller team, you're probably being pulled in lots of different directions. So it's important to do make the time for it and to connect with each other and kind of have a standing thing where you can meet, go through some of the content together, and get that feedback. With a larger thing, we kind of use that Slack channel because we don't have the ability to create that sort of in person cadence as much because so many people's time is all over the place.

 

[00:19:25.800] - John-Erik Pszenny

So I think it is, long winded answer, I think it's important to kind of establish that that main decision maker for both of those teams, but still ensure that the rest of the teams voices are heard on it. 

 

[00:19:36.940] - Dustin Brackett

Yeah and I think that's a great point. Like, it's one of those things that so many businesses, whether they use HubSpot or not, lean on HubSpot for content. Right? Because there's just such a wealth of education there. And HubSpot has probably put out a thousand pieces of content while we've been on this podcast. You know, it just feels like obviously like there's a huge team behind this and there's so many great pieces that come out. But for the average company, that's not a reality. And so you have to really kind of pick and choose and really figure out what's going to have the biggest impact. And so really creating that process where sales feels like they can go to marketing and say, hey, I'm getting this question, I'm feeling this pain from our prospects. We need some content around this and really having that open communication and kind of teamwork along with that, because it has always been such a battle between the two. You know, that marketing doesn't always want to hear the sales team's perspective on, hey, that content should actually be this or we need to change this in your content. At the same time, like sales, doesn't always want to review every piece of content and see that that's not necessarily a revenue generating or commission generating task to review all the marketing content, right?

 

[00:21:10.720] - John-Erik Pszenny

Yeah, to your point, I think I think establishing some empathy for each other is also a big first step in creating that synergy, like knowing it's tale of efficiency versus effectiveness. Marketing is really geared towards efficiency. They have a limited budget, trying to get the greatest return on investment with a really low marketing budget and low spend. And they're judged by a net result of volume, whereas sales is more tied to effectiveness and to quotas. So like being able to establish and have them understand what dog they have in the fight with each other so that they can kind of be able to come to the table a little bit more with a more established understanding of like, alright here sort of both of our goals and incentives here, like how do we make and how does the sales team equip the marketing team to be able to create content that is is is vital to the sales team and being able to being able to sell better. So I think really understanding that they both have areas they're judged on, and sales really needs to find a way to understand everything marketing is doing is to their benefit and vice versa. 

 

[00:22:38.140] - Dustin Brackett

Right. Or at least it should be, right? 

 

[00:22:39.840] - John-Erik Pszenny

Right. It should be. Yes. It's the dream. 

 

[00:22:43.950] - Dustin Brackett

And I think it's interesting that so for us, just everyone knows, like we we are a HubSpot Platinum Agency and we work with John probably more than John wants to hear from us. John does kind of have a marketing role, right? Like you're you're there to help from a marketing standpoint, but a lot of times, like when we're talking or even talking about a client or a process or whatever like it, it is being tied back to sales. And so we run the the Boulder HubSpot user group. We have our second HUG (HubSpot User Group) coming up on July 23rd. And John is actually our presenter is going to be talking about sales and marketing synergy and how to use content to close deals. Do you want to kind of give a quick synopsis about what you're talking about there?

 

[00:23:46.840] - John-Erik Pszenny

One hundred percent. Very excited to do that, by the way. I love being able to do hugs. It's been sad not being able to do it in person. But I really, really hats off to you guys and I'm not going to do it because I have a really bad quarantine haircut right now on your ability to be able to pivot and do this virtually. Not a lot of folks have been able to do it well. And I'm just psyched that you guys have been able to pivot in these really hard times and still create something super valuable in an environment where people can kind of continue to learn to keep their businesses moving. Overall, like the whole the whole conversation that we're going to be having is along the lines of, OK, like we're in this this new era of sort of being able and having to create a digital relationship. How can sales really continue moving in a path forward in that light? And how can they do so by using content? So how can they use, kind of like scratching the surface of what we talked about today, but really doing a deep dive on how can they use content to sell? Why should they use it? What type of content works effectively and where inside of your sales process? So where specifically in those steps to sell, where is different content the best placed? How you can create that content and best be able to not only with sales kind of creating it themselves, but work with your marketing team, the folks that are creating that content, how can you create synergy between those two teams to more effectively not only spend those dollars as far as marketing budget in the right way to create the best content for your sales team, but also being able to create more of a feedback loop between the two teams to sort of understand that you're both benefiting each other. And it's going to be more powerful if you are having those conversations together. So that's that's high level is the sort of the why, how, what. And then next steps and quick, quick tips to actually start to take steps in the right direction. 

 

[00:26:04.660] - Dustin Brackett

Yeah, we're super excited to have you. Just so everyone knows, it's on July 23rd, so next week at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time. So I'll have the link down below but join us. It's a free event. Doesn't cost you anything. Lots of great professionals in all different industries and worlds kind of join us and would love to see you there.

 

[00:26:34.660] - Dustin Brackett

So the last part of the podcast is how's the buzz? 

 

[00:26:39.380] - John-Erik Pszenny

I was going to say, do we finish it? Do we down it?

 

[00:26:41.740] - Michael Thebeau

Yeah, everybody house is theirs at the end.

 

[00:26:45.920] - Dustin Brackett

So I mean, I guess is Sam Adams like that big of a deal in Boston? 

 

[00:26:53.210] - John-Erik Pszenny

It's a I mean, everybody thinks it's the, you make the connect the dots sort of to just the revolutionary roots of Sam Adams. It was started in Boston. The brewery is right outside Boston. It's a good beer, they have a really small brewery, but Harpoon is the other probably well known one that's from the Boston area that they have a big brewery in the seaport. I'm a fan of Sam Adams Boston Lager. What do you guys think? Scale of one to 10? 

 

[00:27:30.470] - Michael Thebeau

I think it's good, I think it's one of those beers that, like, I could do one or two, but it's not something I want to drink. 

 

[00:27:36.990] - John-Erik Pszenny

Middle of the road, right? 

 

[00:27:38.470] - Michael Thebeau

Yeah. It's not light enough, but it's not super heavy. So give me one to watch a game or something like that and I'd be happy.

 

[00:27:46.730] - John-Erik Pszenny

Sorry. By the way, Sam Adams, I don't mean to to blow up your marketing right now.

 

[00:27:52.430] - Dustin Brackett

That wasn't exactly a commercial for them.

 

[00:27:54.800] - Dustin Brackett

But yeah I mean, it's it's pretty good. I'm typically more of, like, a hoppy beer guy, an IPA kind of drinker. 

 

[00:28:06.260] - John-Erik Pszenny

You guys are in Denver. You have all you have great beers.

 

[00:28:11.700] - Michael Thebeau

Dustin's real snobby when it comes to beer.

 

[00:28:12.770] - Dustin Brackett

I mean, I would definitely choose this over like a regular lager, you know, that's just super light and basically water.

 

[00:28:23.210] - John-Erik Pszenny

Tell us how you really feel. 

 

[00:28:26.060] - Dustin Brackett

But, yeah, I mean, it's not bad. Before we got on here, I hadn't had a Sam Adams in forever and I remember not liking it that much. And I like it much better than I did then. I remember liking it so. 

 

[00:28:41.020] - Michael Thebeau

They've improved the recipes. 

 

[00:28:43.740] - Dustin Brackett

I think it was based on my personal feedback, so.

 

[00:28:51.190] - Dustin Brackett

Well, thanks for joining us, John. It's been great having you on. I really appreciate you taking the time and joining us. And we're really looking forward to the HubSpot User Group next week. Make sure to like and subscribe. We'll have another episode in a couple of weeks. Also, like I said, make sure to check out the link below for the HubSpot user group, even if you're not in the Boulder, Denver area. It's open to anyone, obviously, since things are virtual and we're going be doing it through Zoom like, you know, if you're in Cambodia, go ahead and join us. We'd love to see you there. Thanks again, everyone, and we'll see you next time. Thanks for having me, guys. Cheers.

 

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